ANAHEIM – The former president and CEO of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay back taxes for three years for unreported income, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Todd Ament signed the plea agreement June 1. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 21, but no date has been scheduled for him to enter the guilty plea, prosecutors said.
Ament is accused of scheming with another unnamed political consultant to launder money through the chamber to help him acquire a home in the San Bernardino Mountains, prosecutors said.
Ament allegedly solicited a $225,000 payment from an unnamed person and cannabis company to the chamber to create a cannabis task force that would lobby Anaheim officials, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.
The unnamed consultant paid at least $41,000 in kickbacks to Ament, who put the money in his bank account, prosecutors alleged.
Ament and the unnamed co-conspirator transferred $85,000 through several banks to the chamber’s bank account, prosecutors said.
Ament was also accused of defrauding the Small Business Administration’s program providing COVID-19 pandemic relief, prosecutors said. He allegedly received $61,900 in loans, but used the money for personal expenses such as property taxes on his home and to make purchases at clothing and boating stores, prosecutors said.
Ament was also accused of tax fraud by failing to report income. He has agreed in his plea deal to pay back taxes for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Ament’s attorney, Sal Ciulla, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.